Tom's (Tom = my husband) family celebrates Christmas on New Year's Day; with five kids who have a lot of things to do during the holiday season, it's always just been the most convenient time for them to do it. For our Christmas celebration, my father-in-law makes the most delicious chicken and noodles ever, and he pretty much only makes them then. I LOVE them, and I couldn't bring myself to pass over what is probably my favorite meal of the year. I know that some of you probably have celebrations tomorrow too (or might be continuing celebrations from tonight, lol), so for any of you guys interested in doing Gluten-Free January, I wanted to make sure you had time to get your celebrating done and get to the grocery for anything you might need.
So how is this going to work?
On Fridays, I will be posting a menu for the following week (for example, this Friday, I will be posting a menu for January 6-12). The thinking behind this is that it will give you time to check the menu (I know that weekends can be super busy) and it would be enough time to get any grocery shopping done. If it's not, let me know! (And, of course, Fitspiration Friday will still be happening!)
During this time, all menus will be gluten-free and clean eating. This means all foods will contain no artificial ingredients or wheat products. Everything will be as natural as possible. I'll provide product suggestions and recipes for homemade versions when applicable. I'll provide a list of anything you'd need for the menu for the week, so if you don't have it, you'll know you need to get it.
A little warning about the menus: as of right now, I'm not planning on posting calories and other nutritional information per meal. I know that seems a little odd, coming from a weight loss blog, but hear me out. The amount of calories that I, an obese woman looking to lose a significant amount of weight, need to eat daily is not going to be the same as a smaller woman looking to lose a smaller amount, or a woman who has lost the weight and is trying to maintain. Since our caloric needs are definitely going to vary, I don't want to get into specifics. I figured it would be better to give you the meals and let you figure out how much you need to eat based on your own needs.
I'm listing two snacks for each day; if you only want to use one (or none), that's fine. It's all up to you and your needs! If you're still hungry, snack on fruit or veggies! The amount of groceries you'll need to buy will depend on the amount of people you need to feed. I'm not trying to make things difficult, I promise -- I just figured it would be easier to tell you what you need and let you get as much of it as YOU need.
Since this is a one-month thing (for now), I'm not going to be investing in all the different gluten-free flours needed to recreate your favorite baked goods. I do plan on purchasing one to help with a few recipes though. Pre-packaged gluten-free products (like pizza crust mix) tend to be more expensive than those with gluten in them, but it's cheaper (to start with) than buying all the different flours necessary to make it happen. If you do choose to purchase different flours or mixes, I highly recommend Bob's Red Mill. You should be able to find their products in the natural foods section of your grocery store.
As far as your groceries go, locally-grown, farm-raised, free-range products are best, but I know that's not always doable, so go for organic when you can. I realize that organic, natural foods tend to cost more, so I created the menus with budgets in mind. As far as produce goes, if something's not in season, see if there's a frozen version available. Frozen produce maintains much of the nutrition of fresh. With cheese, it's better to buy a block and slice and shred from the block as needed. Many shredded cheeses have cellulose (usually made from wood, or sometimes cotton) in them to keep the cheese from caking together. Um, yuck. Make sure to check labels!!!
If you want to mix and match the meals, or use leftovers, feel free! I know that some people (myself included) are totally okay with eating the same things over and over; I'm just trying to add a little variety for those who don't. As far as beverages go, water is definitely the best you can pick, but if you want a little variety, try some decaf herbal tea, milk, or the occasional cup of decaf coffee or fruit juice.
I'll be tweeting about my gluten-free month using the hashtag #GlutenFreeJanuary. If you participate, feel free to tweet along with me!
*Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor. THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. This is just a menu plan I've put together using what I've learned about nutrition, clean eating, and gluten-free eating.*
- To make the oatmeal, cook as usual, then mix in chopped apple (I recommend a Granny Smith), cinnamon, and a little pure maple syrup if desired
- Larabars can be found in the natural foods section of your grocery store, where you would find Clif Bars and Power Bars
- For the omelet, I personally like to use onion and spinach (or kale), but the vegetables are totally up to your preference
- Chicken breasts should be baked or grilled (definitely not breaded or fried!)
- Toppings are okay for a potato as long as they're made from all natural ingredients (real butter and all-natural sour cream are totally fine)
- I recommend eating the broccoli steamed. It's healthy and tasty.
- If you don't know how to make egg salad, here is a recipe
- For the burgers, you can eat them bunless, wrapped in lettuce leaves, between slices of Ezekiel bread, or try Oopsie Rolls
- Pop plain popcorn kernels in the microwave for 2 minutes in a brown paper bag with the top folded down, then add any toppings you like if you don't want to eat it plain
- For your salad, you can try to find a natural, gluten-free dressing (I know Annie's makes some, but I think they may have sugar or canola oil in them), or make your own (if you like ranch, like me, this is a good recipe)
- Here is the recipe for chocolate avocado mousse
- Here is the recipe for 3P Tilapia
-apples (at least one Granny Smith)
-berries (your choice, fresh or frozen)
-broccoli (can buy frozen, if you like)
-chives (if desired for the egg salad)
-lemon (for juice)
-spinach or kale
-butter (organic preferred)
-cheese (your favorite variety)
-eggs (cage-free, free range preferred)
-Parmesan cheese (NOT the kind in a can on the dry goods shelves)
-sour cream (all natural)
-honey (raw preferably, or locally made...not your average, run-of-the-mill honey bear)
-mayonnaise (all natural, no canola oil...if you can't find any, you can make your own)
-pure maple syrup (organic preferably)
-salt and pepper
-boneless, skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
-Ezekiel Bread (if desired)
-ground beef or ground turkey (your preference)
-Larabars (any flavor...my favorite is Coconut Cream Pie :)
-plain popcorn kernels (usually found in bags by the packaged popcorn)
-slow cooking oats (gluten-free)
-tilapia (fresh or frozen fillets)
*a brown paper lunch sack for popping popcorn
If this menu isn't your cup of tea, Jess decided to get in on the fun too.
Let me know what you think!